Snyder congratulates new senate, offers leadership advice

Head football coach Bill Snyder speaks about leadership to the newly-elected members of the Student Governing Association at the senate meeting on April 20, 2017. (Meg Shearer | The Collegian)

Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder spoke with the Student Governing Association Thursday evening, offering his congratulations and advice for the new class of senators.

Snyder related his experiences in coaching and managing the university’s football team to the senate.

“I think about, in this room, we are all different people,” Snyder said. “That’s not a bad thing at all, but we do have some things in common, and one of them is we all desire to be successful, and sometimes, we don’t admit it, but we truly do. The other is that we will all be thrust into a leadership role at times in our lives.”

Synder challenged senators to be effective leaders, not just in the senate, but in every role in their lives.

“When you get into your community, at your college, in your career field, in your family, with your churches — whatever the case may be, everybody is thrust into a leadership role,” Snyder said.

He said good leaders understand the process of goal achievement and that everyone sets goals, but only 50 percent of people make plans to achieve those goals, and only 5 percent actually achieve their goals.

Another trait Snyder said good leaders have is the ability to determine their priorities.

“I’m not talking about half-a-million-dollar Lamborghinis,” Snyder said. “I’m talking about the things that are significant in life. I have our players, when they first come to Kansas State University, I give them a notepad and pencil and have them put it on their nightstand. Every single night for two weeks, I ask them to go through and define their priorities and write down what’s important in their lives.”

At the end of his speech, Snyder thanked the senate for their dedication to K-State.

“I can’t say enough how much I appreciate you, your leadership, your interest in Kansas State University and your interest in the students at Kansas State University,” Snyder said to the senate. “You help make Kansas State a better place, and I appreciate that.”

Jack Ayres, junior in chemical engineering and student body president, said it was an honor to hear from Snyder.

“Coach Snyder talking to us shows his dedication to the university beyond the football field,” Ayres said. “He cares about developing leaders, and it’s really humbling to hear somebody like Coach Snyder say ‘thank you’ to student leaders.”

Olivia Baalman, junior in computer science and student body vice president, said Snyder is an exemplary leader for aspiring students.

“I think it’s a testament to who he is, taking the time out of his day to come talk to senate is really telling of the type of leader he is,” Baalman said.

In other action

The senate confirmed Jordan Kiehl, junior in industrial engineering, as chief of staff of the presidential cabinet.

As the only candidate running for the position of speaker of the student senate, Jonathan Peuchen, junior in mechanical engineering, was sworn in as speaker.

Tendai Munyani, senior in management, was elected speaker pro tempore of the student senate, defeating Ryan Kelly, freshman in civil engineering, by a vote of 24-21.

I'm Rafael Garcia, and I'm a 2019 K-State graduate in journalism and former editor-in-chief of the K-State Collegian. I believe that much of the world's problems come from a lack of understanding of other people, but by telling other people's stories and finding the good in the world, I think we can increase our understanding and appreciation of each other. Questions, comments, concerns, news tips? Email the Collegian team at